RALEIGH, N.C. — Coach John Pelphrey has put his stamp on Arkansas in his first season, leading the Razorbacks to the NCAA tournament’s second round for the first time since 1999.
Now comes the daunting part: Upset top-seeded North Carolina in its backyard. Ninth-seeded Arkansas (23-11) will play the top-seeded Tar Heels (33-2) on Sunday at RBC Center, less than 30 miles from North Carolina’s campus in Chapel Hill. North Carolina is 22-1 in NCAA tournament games played in its home state.
“This will not be a typical NCAA neutral-site game,” Pelphrey said Saturday. “This will be a road game for us. I don’t think anyone is going to dispute that.”
But he has a collection of players who can give North Carolina a fight. Arkansas, which dispatched Indiana 86-72 late Friday night, is short on consistency but has its share of talent. [read more]